NASA is collaborating with a well-known doll and book company, American Girl, to inspire children to dream big and reach for the stars. The US space agency has partnered with American Girl to share the excitement of space with the public, and in particular, inspire young girls to learn about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). NASA has provided the company subject matter experts for their advisory board, in addition to inputs for an upcoming book series. It also provided imagery and content for a new American Girl app and educational website, that will offer children space simulations, educational quizzes, challenges, and more.
“It is so important to find exciting new ways to inspire our next generation of space explorers,” said Megan McArthur, NASA astronaut who serves on the project’s advisory board. “I always want to encourage girls and boys to pursue their dreams, no matter how big, and I think it helps to show how those dreams can become reality for any kid,” said McArthur. The focus of the collaboration is the Girl of the Year doll for 2018, an 11-year-old aspiring astronaut named Luciana who wants to be the first person to put boots on Mars. The partnership affords NASA an opportunity to educate through Luciana’s story the value of learning from mistakes, teamwork and remaining goal-oriented even through challenging moments.
NASA will need talented scientists, engineers, and astronauts in the future as the agency returns to the Moon and paves the way for human exploration deeper into the solar system, including Mars.